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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

NEIL ARNOLD: Strange Monster Blown To Florida In Hurricane

Reading Eagle – 18th September 1935 :

‘Fort Myers, Fla – Sept 18 – Estero Island fishermen went back to their boats this morning, content in the belief that the monster reported to have visited their shores had left them. Whatever the strange creature might have been, it apparently had quit the island, returning to the gulf, perhaps to some other Florida coast key.

There was no doubt in the minds of the fisher folk that the beast had been on Estero Island. A photograph snapped by Lewis Reynolds, of Selma, Ala, proved that. But a score or more of the islanders beat back and forth across the mangrove thickness of the gulf and bay shores yesterday. They found nothing more than the ordinary wild life that inhabits this section.

Natural scientists looked at the picture Reynolds had taken, and decided that the subject was a marine or rhinoceros iguana. It was possible, they said, that he was blown and washed across the gulf from the West Indies by the hurricane of two weeks ago.

If he was an iguana, he was equally at home on land or water. So the searchers decided he had left Estero to seek a hiding place elsewhere.

The creature’s scaly head was shaped like that of a lizard. Down the back was a row of spines and the tail was long and pointed. He was greenish-grey in colour.’

The day previous The Palm Beach Post ran the headline, ‘Big Lizard Object Of Posse’s Search Around Fort Myers’. They claimed the creature was six-feet in length.


Dale Drinnon said...

Rogue iguanas in Florida are not rare. In more recent years they have mostly turned out to be green iguanas, pets released into the wild when their owners were tired of them.
There are rumors of larger lizard-like creatures on the loose in Florida, but I feel that green iguana should be thought of as the default identity to consider in all such cases more recently.

borky said...

"photograph snapped by Lewis Reynolds, of Selma".

Well, there's your answer, there: the 'monster' was really Marge Simpson's sister, Selma - an easy mistake to make, as Homer'll attest.